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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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one-seventh of her territory with her frontier on the Bug. as a c Congress
Poland 5 under the guarantee of the Allies and under the rule of the Russian
In the palace of the Tsar's at the Crimea, Stalin, whose Red Army
was at that time occupying over eighty per cent, of Poland's territories,
found it easy to forget the edicts of his master Lenin, who had condemned
the partition of Poland and the bargaining over her land. " Once upon
a time " he had written " Alexander I, traded people with Napoleon,
once upon a time the Tsars traded parts of Poland. Are we to continue
these tactics of the Tsars ? To do so would be a repudiation of the tactics
of internationalism, it would be chauvinism of the worst brand. . . .
We say that frontiers are determined by the will of the population. ..."
But there was no mention of " the will of the Polish people " at the
Crimea. On the contrary, " chauvinism of the worst brand " flourished
at this Conference—parts of the Polish Republic were traded and her
frontiers determined. Stalin might have been repeating every word
of Alexander I, including even the reference to " les hommes ", the number
of which was in this instance perhaps twenty times more. For months,
indeed for years, Soviet propaganda had daily and nightly been using
the self-same arguments employed by the Tsar in 1815,—the c enormous
Russian service to the Allies5 cause'. It seems, however, that Russia's
autocrat of 1945, possessed an even better instrument with which to bend
and break the will of his partners in the Great Alliance.
One of the Yalta hosts was Molotov, that same Commissar for Foreign
Affairs who in Berlin, prior to Hitler's invasion of the West, had asked
him whether he was prepared to satisfy Russia's ambitions and stand
by while she hoisted the red flag with its hammer and sickle on the shores
of Northern Norway at Narvik, and hung * Prince Oleg's shield ' as the
well-known Russian poem says 4 on the gateway of Constantinople.*
But since the German Army was then standing on the c Ribbentrop-
Molotov Line5 in Poland, Hitler bluntly refused this demand which
would have given the Soviet Union an outlet to the Mediterranean and
an access to the ocean.
Following the successful invasion of Europe in the summer of 1944,
Eisenhower pierced the defences of the Atlantic Wall and in a lightning
offensive crossed France and Belgium. It seemed as if his armies would
shortly cut the Siegfried Line and race deep into Germany, perhaps
even into Berlin itself. In view of the Allied success on the West, Stalin had
called his victorious Red Army to a halt on the Vistula and before East
Prussia. It was to his advantage to conserve his forces while his Western
Allies continued to fight the stubborn enemy. Stalin was in no hurry to fulfil
his share of the Teheran commitments, nor at this junction see the war
finish by launching a concentrated attack on Germany proper along the
shortest lines to Berlin. It did not meet with his intentions to encounter